By Gregory Minton

Anonymous hackers released the first ten upcoming episodes of the popular Netflix show “Orange is the New Black” April 29 in an extortion plot.

The hackers stole the unreleased episodes from Larson Studios, a digital production company in Los Angeles. When the hackers, who go by the alias “thedarkoverlord,” threatened to release the episodes unless Netflix paid a ransom, Netflix refused.

Some students at this university heard about the leak.

“My friend Zach was watching the leak the night it dropped,” said sophomore history major Ronald Lyles III. “I didn’t watch it, but he said it was amazing.”

Lyles was not surprised the episodes had leaked, “It’s 2017 — everything leaks.”

Sophomore psychology major Rachel Schindler said she probably would not download the leaked episodes, but would prefer to wait until June 9, when the season will be released on Netflix.

“I’ll probably wait for Netflix because I like the format,” she said. “I like that it just moves one episode after another.”

She was also concerned about inadvertently downloading a virus onto her computer.

Caitlin Le, a junior hearing and speech sciences major, was not aware of the leak, but she still says she will not download the leaked episodes.

“I need subtitles, and chances are, whoever leaked it didn’t have subtitles. I have hearing aids, which is why I never really watch bootlegs,” she said.

Netflix acknowledged the leaks in the following statement: “We are aware of the situation. A production vendor used by several major TV studios had its security compromised and the appropriate law enforcement authorities are involved.”

Since the leaks, Netflix has been sending takedown requests to websites hosting the videos. IP Arrow, an anti-piracy company, has sent multiple takedown notices specific to “Orange is the New Black,” according to TorrentFreak.com.

The hacker has also threatened to release other popular content stolen in the leak, including episodes of “Portlandia,” “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and “New Girl,” according to Variety.

Featured Photo Credit: Courtesy of Orange is the New Black’s Facebook page.

Gregory Minton is a junior journalism major and can be reached at gminton@me.com.

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